CSHB 292(JUD): "An Act relating to civil actions; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 16.1, 26, 49, 68, and 82; and providing for an effective date."
00CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 292(JUD) 01 "An Act relating to civil actions; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 16.1, 02 26, 49, 68, and 82; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 05 (1) civil justice in this state has generally been developed by the courts on a 06 case-by-case basis; this process has resulted in some significant changes in the law, and the 07 legislature has periodically intervened to bring about needed reforms; 08 (2) the level of malpractice insurance premiums discourage physicians, 09 architects, engineers, attorneys, and other professionals from initiating or continuing their 10 practice or offering needed services to the public; 11 (3) society as a whole cannot afford the price of lawsuits years after 12 construction, manufacture, the delivery of services and other actions; the widespread use of 13 claims made insurance policies makes it impossible to adequately and economically insure 14 against actions for an unlimited period of time; likewise it is extremely difficult to defend
01 against a claim that has become stale after information and witnesses have disappeared; 02 (4) on the whole society is better served with a statute of repose even though 03 in a few limited instances injuries may go without compensation; 04 (5) hospitals that comply with the disclosure requirements set out in this Act 05 should not be liable for the negligence of independent contractors; to this extent this Act is 06 intended to overrule the case of Jackson v. Powers, 743 P.2d 1376 (Alaska 1987); 07 (6) tortfeasors should not be held responsible for the negligence of an 08 employer; to this extent this Act is intended to overrule the case of Lake v. Construction 09 Machinery, Inc., 787 P.2d 1027 (Alaska 1990); 10 (7) the issues in the Act were intended to be addressed in a comprehensive 11 way in 1986; however, the legislation passed in 1986 fell short of accomplishing the goals of 12 the legislature and the problems that existed in 1986 still exist in 1994. 13 (b) It is the purpose of this Act to 14 (1) enact further reforms that create a more equitable distribution of the cost 15 and risk of injury; 16 (2) reduce costs associated with the civil justice system, while ensuring that 17 adequate and appropriate compensation for persons injured through the fault of others is 18 available; 19 (3) help match losses with compensation by helping to 20 (A) ensure that money paid to an injured person is available when 21 anticipated expenses or losses occur; 22 (B) ensure that a claimant with substantial injury requiring long-term 23 treatment will have money available for future medical care; 24 (C) reduce reparation system costs by eliminating those portions of 25 awards that are not needed to compensate the claimant; 26 (D) eliminate duplicate recoveries; and 27 (E) reduce the costs of litigation; 28 (4) ensure that in actions involving the fault of more than one person, the fault 29 of each claimant, defendant, third-party defendant, person who has been released from 30 liability, or other person responsible for the damages be determined and awards be allocated 31 in accordance with their fault;
01 (5) reduce the amount of litigation proceeding to trial by modifying the 02 allocation of attorney fees and court costs based on the offer of judgment and the final court 03 award thereby providing a financial incentive to both parties to settle the dispute; 04 (6) accumulate additional information concerning the costs to society of the 05 civil justice system as it is presently constituted by having the division of insurance compile 06 useful information and present a report to the legislature; this information is necessary to 07 determine whether the civil justice and insurance systems as they are presently constituted are 08 fairly serving residents of the state; 09 (7) enact a statute of repose that meets the tests set out in Turner Construction 10 Co., Inc. v. Scales, 752 P.2d 467 (Alaska 1988); 11 (8) clarify the circumstances in which hospitals are held directly liable for the 12 actions of health care providers not employed by the hospital. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 14 Sec. 09.10.052. CERTAIN ACTIONS THAT MUST BE BROUGHT IN SIX 15 YEARS. (a) Notwithstanding the disability of minority described under 16 AS 09.10.140(a), a person may not bring an action for personal injury, death, or 17 property damage unless commenced within six years of the earlier of the date 18 (1) a newly manufactured product was first used for its intended 19 purpose; however, the limitation of this paragraph does not apply to a claim for faulty 20 maintenance of a product; 21 (2) of substantial completion of the construction alleged to have caused 22 the personal injury, death, or property damage; however, the limitation of this 23 paragraph does not apply to a claim resulting from an intentional or reckless disregard 24 of specific project design plans and specifications or building codes; or 25 (3) of the last act alleged to have caused the personal injury, death, or 26 property damage. 27 (b) This section does not apply if 28 (1) the personal injury, death, or property damage was caused 29 intentionally or resulted from gross negligence, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, or 30 breach of an express warranty or guarantee; 31 (2) facts that would give notice of a potential cause of action are
01 intentionally concealed; or 02 (3) a shorter period of time for bringing the action is imposed under 03 another provision of law. 04 (c) The limitation imposed under (a) of this section is tolled during any period 05 in which there exists the undiscovered presence of a foreign body, that has no 06 therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the body of the injured person and the 07 action is based on the presence of the foreign body. 08 (d) In this section, "substantial completion" means the date when construction 09 is sufficiently completed to allow the owner or a person authorized by the owner to 10 occupy the improvement or to use the improvement in the manner for which it was 11 intended. 12 * Sec. 3. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 13 Sec. 09.10.065. LIMITATION ON ACTIONS AGAINST HEALTH CARE 14 PROVIDERS. (a) Notwithstanding AS 09.10.052 and the disability of minority 15 described under AS 09.10.140(a), an action based on professional negligence may not 16 be brought against a health care provider if the injured person is, on the date of the 17 alleged negligent act or omission, less than six years of age, unless the action is 18 brought before the person's eighth birthday. 19 (b) This section does not apply if a longer period of time is allowed under 20 AS 09.10.075. 21 (c) The limitation imposed under (a) of this section is tolled during any period 22 in which there exists 23 (1) fraud, including fraud or collusion by a parent, guardian, insurer, 24 or health care provider, resulting in the failure to bring an action on behalf of an 25 injured minor; or 26 (2) intentional concealment of facts that would give notice of a 27 potential action. 28 (d) In this section, 29 (1) "health care provider" has the meaning given in AS 09.55.560; 30 (2) "professional negligence" means a negligent act or omission by a 31 health care provider in rendering professional services;
01 (3) "professional services" means services provided by a health care 02 provider that are within the scope of services for which the health care provider is 03 licensed, and that are not prohibited under the health care provider's license or by a 04 hospital in which the health care provider practices. 05 * Sec. 4. AS 09.10.070 is amended to read: 06 Sec. 09.10.070. ACTIONS TO BE BROUGHT IN TWO YEARS. Except as 07 otherwise provided by law, a [NO] person may not bring an action (1) for libel, 08 slander, assault, battery, seduction, or false imprisonment [, OR FOR ANY INJURY 09 TO THE PERSON OR RIGHTS OF ANOTHER NOT ARISING ON CONTRACT 10 AND NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED OTHERWISE]; (2) upon a statute for a 11 forfeiture or penalty to the state; or (3) upon a liability created by statute, other than 12 a penalty or forfeiture; unless the action is commenced within two years. 13 * Sec. 5. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 14 Sec. 09.10.075. LIMITATION ON ACTIONS INVOLVING INJURY TO 15 PERSON OR PROPERTY. (a) Notwithstanding the disability of minority described 16 under AS 09.10.140(a), a person may not bring an action for personal injury, death, 17 or property damage unless the action is brought within two years of the accrual of the 18 action. 19 (b) This section does not apply if a shorter period of time for bringing the 20 action is imposed under another provision of law, other than AS 09.10.065. 21 * Sec. 6. AS 09.17.010 is repealed and reenacted to read: 22 Sec. 09.17.010. NONECONOMIC DAMAGES. (a) In an action to recover 23 damages for personal injury or wrongful death, all damage claims for noneconomic 24 losses shall be limited to compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical 25 impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other 26 nonpecuniary damage. 27 (b) Except as provided under (c) of this section, the amount of damages 28 awarded by a court or a jury under (a) of this section for all claims, including a loss 29 of consortium claim, arising out of a single injury or death may not exceed $500,000. 30 (c) In an action for personal injury, the damages awarded by a court or jury 31 that are described under (b) of this section may not exceed $750,000 when the
01 claimant, as a result of the injury, 02 (A) is a hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic and has 03 permanent functional loss of one or more limbs resulting from injury to the 04 spine or spinal cord; or 05 (B) has permanently impaired cognitive capacity, is incapable 06 of making independent, responsible decisions, and is permanently incapable of 07 independently performing the activities of normal, daily living. 08 (d) The limit under (b) or (c) of this section does not apply to noneconomic 09 damages awarded by a court or jury against a person who, as proven by a 10 preponderance of the evidence, was attempting to commit or committing a felony, if 11 the person bringing the action was a victim of that offense and the offense 12 substantially contributed to the injury or death. In this subsection, "victim" has the 13 meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 14 (e) Multiple injuries sustained as a result of a single incident shall be treated 15 as a single injury for purposes of this section. 16 * Sec. 7. AS 09.17.020 is amended to read: 17 Sec. 09.17.020. PUNITIVE DAMAGES. Punitive damages may not be 18 awarded in an action, whether in tort, contract, or otherwise, unless supported by clear 19 and convincing evidence of malice or conscious acts showing deliberate disregard 20 of another person by the person from whom the punitive damages are sought. 21 * Sec. 8. AS 09.17.020 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 22 (b) The amount of punitive damages awarded by a court or jury under (a) of 23 this section may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded 24 or $200,000, whichever amount is greater. 25 (c) The limit under (b) of this section does not apply to punitive damages 26 awarded by a court or jury against a person who, as proven by a preponderance of the 27 evidence, was attempting to commit or committing a felony if the person bringing the 28 action was a victim of that offense and the offense substantially contributed to the 29 injury or death. In this subsection, "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 30 * Sec. 9. AS 09.17.030 is amended to read: 31 Sec. 09.17.030. DAMAGES RESULTING FROM COMMISSION OF A
01 CRIME. A person who suffers personal injury or death may not recover damages for 02 the personal injury or death if the injuries or death occurred while the person was 03 committing or attempting to commit a felony, or fleeing from [ENGAGED IN] the 04 commission of a felony, [THE PERSON HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF THE 05 FELONY, INCLUDING CONVICTION BASED ON A GUILTY PLEA OR PLEA 06 OF NOLO CONTENDERE,] and the action [FELONY] substantially contributed to 07 the injury or death. [THIS SECTION DOES NOT AFFECT A RIGHT OF ACTION 08 UNDER 42 U.S.C. 1983.] 09 * Sec. 10. AS 09.17.040(a) is amended to read: 10 (a) In every case where damages for personal injury or death are awarded by 11 the court or jury [,] 12 (1) the verdict shall be itemized between economic loss and 13 noneconomic loss, if any, as follows: 14 (A) [(1)] past economic loss; 15 (B) [(2)] past noneconomic loss; 16 (C) [(3)] future economic loss; 17 (D) [(4)] future noneconomic loss; [AND] 18 (E) [(5)] punitive damages; and 19 (2) the amount of economic damages awarded for past or future 20 gross earnings shall be reduced by the amount of federal and state income tax 21 that would be paid on the earnings under tax rates in effect on the date of the 22 injury or death. 23 * Sec. 11. AS 09.17.040(d) is amended to read: 24 (d) In an action to recover damages, the court shall, at the request of a [AN 25 INJURED] party, enter judgment ordering that amounts awarded a judgment creditor 26 for future damages that exceed $100,000 be paid to the maximum extent feasible by 27 periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. If a portion of the judgment 28 awarded is owed to an attorney under a contingent fee agreement, that portion 29 of the judgment shall be reduced to present value and paid in a lump sum. 30 * Sec. 12. AS 09.17.040(e) is amended to read: 31 (e) Except as provided in this subsection, if a judgment is paid by periodic
01 payments, the [THE] court shall [MAY] require security be posted [,] in order to 02 ensure that funds are available as periodic payments become due. The court may not 03 require security to be posted if the state or an authorized insurer, as defined in 04 AS 21.90.900, acknowledges to the court its obligation to discharge the judgment. 05 * Sec. 13. AS 09.17.040(f) is amended to read: 06 (f) A judgment ordering payment of future damages for personal injury or 07 death by periodic payment shall specify the recipient, the dollar amount of the 08 payments, including any increases in future payments for anticipated inflation, the 09 interval between payments, and the number of payments or the period of time over 10 which payments shall be made. Payments may be modified only in the event of the 11 death of the judgment creditor, in which case payments may not be reduced or 12 terminated, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty 13 of support, as provided by law, immediately before death. In the event the judgment 14 creditor owed no duty of support to dependents at the time of the judgment creditor's 15 death, the money remaining shall be distributed in accordance with a will of the 16 deceased judgment creditor accepted into probate or under the intestate laws of the 17 state if the deceased had no will. In this subsection, "inflation" means the change 18 in the Consumer Price Index for Anchorage, All Items Index, compiled by the 19 Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. 20 * Sec. 14. AS 09.17.070 is repealed and reenacted to read: 21 Sec. 09.17.070. COLLATERAL BENEFITS. (a) A claimant in an action for 22 personal injury or death may only recover damages that exceed amounts received by 23 the claimant, or that with reasonable probability will be received in the future by the 24 claimant, as compensation for the injuries from collateral sources, whether private, 25 group, or governmental, and whether contributory or noncontributory, except when 26 (1) the collateral source is a federally funded program that by law must 27 seek subrogation; 28 (2) the collateral source has a right of subrogation under federal law; 29 (3) the benefit consists of death benefits paid under life insurance; or 30 (4) the benefit consists of workers' compensation benefits received 31 under AS 23.30.
01 (b) A person defending a claim may introduce into evidence an amount paid 02 or payable as a benefit to the claimant as a result of the personal injury or death under 03 42 U.S.C. 301 - 1397 (Social Security Act); a state or federal disability or workers' 04 compensation act; health, sickness, disability, accident, or income-disability insurance; 05 insurance that provides health benefits or income-disability coverage; and a contract 06 or agreement of a group, organization, partnership, or corporation, or other collateral 07 source, to provide, pay for, or reimburse the cost of medical, hospital, dental, or other 08 health care services, disability, or lost wages. However, evidence of a collateral source 09 that is a federally funded program that by law must seek subrogation or that has a right 10 of subrogation under federal law, or evidence of death benefits paid under life 11 insurance or workers' compensation benefits received under AS 23.30, may not be 12 introduced under this subsection. If a person defending a claim elects to introduce 13 evidence described in this subsection, the claimant may introduce evidence of the 14 amount that the claimant has paid or contributed to secure the claimant's right to an 15 insurance or contractual benefit, including the value of the claimant's rights to depleted 16 or exhausted coverage, introduced by the person defending the claim as evidence. A 17 claimant shall disclose the benefits described in this subsection to a person defending 18 the claim. 19 (c) A person who provides a collateral benefit admissible under (b) of this 20 section may not recover any amount against the claimant as reimbursement for those 21 benefits and may not be subrogated to the rights of a claimant against a person 22 defending a claim. 23 * Sec. 15. AS 09.17.080(a) is amended to read: 24 (a) In all actions involving fault of more than one person [PARTY TO THE 25 ACTION], including third-party defendants and persons who have been released under 26 AS 09.17.091 [AS 09.16.040], the court, unless otherwise agreed by all parties, shall 27 instruct the jury to answer special interrogatories or, if there is no jury, shall make 28 findings, indicating 29 (1) the amount of damages each claimant would be entitled to recover 30 if contributory fault is disregarded; and 31 (2) the percentage of the total fault [OF ALL OF THE PARTIES TO
01 EACH CLAIM] that is allocated to each claimant, defendant, third-party defendant, 02 [AND] person who has been released from liability under AS 09.17.091, or other 03 person responsible for the damages to each claimant regardless of whether the 04 other person, including an employer, is or could have been named as a party to 05 the action [AS 09.16.040]. 06 * Sec. 16. AS 09.17.080(c) is amended to read: 07 (c) The court shall determine the award of damages to each claimant in 08 accordance with the findings, subject to a reduction under AS 09.17.091 09 [AS 09.16.040], and enter judgment against each party liable. The court also shall 10 determine and state in the judgment each party's equitable share of the obligation to 11 each claimant in accordance with the respective percentages of fault as determined 12 under (a) of this section. An assessment of a percentage of fault against a person 13 who is not a party may only be used as a measure for accurately determining the 14 percentages of fault of a named party. Assessment of a percentage of fault 15 against a person who is not a party does not subject that person to civil liability 16 in that or another action and may not be used as evidence of civil liability in 17 another action. 18 * Sec. 17. AS 09.17 is amended by adding a new section to read: 19 Sec. 09.17.091. EFFECT OF RELEASE. When a release or covenant not to 20 sue or not to enforce judgment is given in good faith to one of two or more persons 21 civilly liable for the same injury or the same wrongful death 22 (1) it does not discharge any of the other persons from liability for the 23 injury or wrongful death unless its terms so provide; but it reduces the total amount 24 awarded by the jury or court to the extent of any amount stipulated by the release or 25 the covenant, or in the amount of the consideration paid for it, whichever is the 26 greater; and 27 (2) it discharges the person to whom it is given from all liability for 28 contribution to any other person. 29 * Sec. 18. AS 09.30.065 is amended to read: 30 Sec. 09.30.065. OFFERS OF JUDGMENT. At any time more than 10 days 31 before the trial begins either the party making a claim or the party defending against
01 a claim may serve upon the adverse party an offer to allow judgment to be entered in 02 complete satisfaction of the claim for the money or property or to the effect specified 03 in the offer, with costs [COST] then accrued. If within 10 days after the service of 04 the offer the adverse party serves written notice that the offer is accepted, either party 05 may then file the offer and notice of acceptance together with proof of service, and the 06 clerk shall enter judgment. An offer not accepted within 10 days is considered 07 withdrawn and evidence of that offer is not admissible except in a proceeding to 08 determine the form of judgment after verdict. If the judgment finally entered on the 09 claim as to which an offer has been made under this section is not more favorable to 10 the offeree than the offer, the offeree shall pay costs as allowed under the Alaska 11 Rules of Civil Procedure and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the offeror 12 from the date the offer was made [THE INTEREST AWARDED UNDER 13 AS 09.30.070 AND ACCRUED UP TO THE DATE JUDGMENT IS ENTERED 14 SHALL BE ADJUSTED AS FOLLOWS: 15 (1) IF THE OFFEREE IS THE PARTY MAKING THE CLAIM, THE 16 INTEREST RATE SHALL BE REDUCED BY FIVE PERCENT A YEAR; 17 (2) IF THE OFFEREE IS THE PARTY DEFENDING AGAINST THE 18 CLAIM, THE INTEREST RATE SHALL BE INCREASED BY FIVE PERCENT A 19 YEAR]. 20 * Sec. 19. AS 09.30.070(a) is amended to read: 21 (a) Notwithstanding AS 45.45.010, the [THE] rate of interest on judgments 22 and decrees for the payment of money, including prejudgment interest, is three 23 percent above the 12th Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect on 24 January 2 of the year in which the judgment or decree is entered [10.5 PERCENT 25 A YEAR], except that a judgment or decree founded on a contract in writing, 26 providing for the payment of interest until paid at a specified rate not exceeding the 27 legal rate of interest for that type of contract, bears interest at the rate specified in the 28 contract if the interest rate is set out in the judgment or decree. 29 * Sec. 20. AS 09.30.070 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 30 (c) Prejudgment interest may not be awarded for future economic damages, 31 future noneconomic damages, or for punitive damages.
01 * Sec. 21. AS 09.55.535(k) is amended to read: 02 (k) The provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, AS 09.43.010 - 09.43.180, 03 apply to arbitrations under this section if they do not conflict with the provisions of 04 this section; arbitrations under this section shall be conducted in accordance with 05 procedures established by any rules of court which may be adopted and according to 06 provisions of AS 09.55.540 - 09.55.547 [AS 09.55.540 - 09.55.548] and AS 09.55.554 07 - 09.55.560, and AS 09.65.090. 08 * Sec. 22. AS 09.55.580(a) is amended to read: 09 (a) Except as provided under (f) of this section, when the death of a person 10 is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representatives of 11 the former may maintain an action therefor against the latter, if the former might have 12 maintained an action, had the person lived, against the latter for an injury done by the 13 same act or omission. The action shall be commenced within two years after the 14 death, and the damages therein shall be the damages the court or jury may consider 15 fair and just. The amount recovered, if any, shall be exclusively for the benefit of the 16 decedent's spouse and children when the decedent is survived by a spouse or children, 17 or other dependents. When the decedent is survived by no spouse or children or other 18 dependents, the amount recovered shall be administered as other personal property of 19 the decedent [BUT SHALL BE LIMITED TO PECUNIARY LOSS]. When the 20 plaintiff prevails, the trial court shall determine the allowable costs and expenses of 21 the action and may, in its discretion, require notice and hearing thereon. The amount 22 recovered shall be distributed only after payment of all costs and expenses of suit and 23 debts and expenses of administration. 24 * Sec. 23. AS 09.55.580(c) is amended to read: 25 (c) Except as provided in AS 09.17.010 and (g) of this section, in [IN] 26 fixing the amount of damages to be awarded under this section, the court or jury shall 27 consider all the facts and circumstances and from them fix the award at a sum which 28 will fairly compensate for the injury resulting from the death. In determining the 29 amount of the award, the court or jury shall consider but is not limited to the 30 following: 31 (1) deprivation of the expectation of economic [PECUNIARY] benefits
01 to the beneficiary or beneficiaries, without regard to age thereof, that would have 02 resulted from the continued life of the deceased and without regard to probable 03 accumulations or what the deceased may have saved during the lifetime of the 04 deceased; 05 (2) loss of contributions for support; 06 (3) loss of assistance or services irrespective of age or relationship of 07 decedent to the beneficiary or beneficiaries; 08 (4) loss of consortium; 09 (5) loss of prospective training and education; 10 (6) medical and funeral expenses. 11 * Sec. 24. AS 09.55.580 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 12 (g) The amount awarded by the court or jury under this section for economic 13 damages may not exceed $10,000 if the deceased is not survived by a spouse, minor 14 child, or dependent. In this subsection, "dependent" means a father, mother, child, 15 grandchild, or sibling who was dependent on the deceased at the time of death. 16 (h) The limit under (g) of this section does not apply to damages awarded by 17 a court or jury against a person who, as proven by a preponderance of the evidence, 18 was attempting to commit or committing a felony if the deceased was a victim of that 19 offense and the offense substantially contributed to the death. In this subsection, 20 "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 21 * Sec. 25. AS 09.60.010 is repealed and reenacted to read: 22 Sec. 09.60.010. COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES ALLOWED PREVAILING 23 PARTY. The supreme court shall determine by rule or order the costs, if any, that 24 may be allowed a prevailing party in a civil action. Unless specifically authorized by 25 statute or by agreement between the parties, attorney fees may not be awarded to a 26 party in a civil action for personal injury, death, or property damage related to or 27 arising out of fault. In this section, "fault" has the meaning given in AS 09.17.900. 28 * Sec. 26. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 29 Sec. 09.65.096. CIVIL LIABILITY OF HOSPITALS FOR NONEMPLOYEES. 30 (a) A hospital is not liable for civil damages as a result of an act or omission by a 31 health care provider who is not an employee or actual agent of the hospital if the
01 hospital provides notice that the health care provider is an independent contractor. The 02 notice required by this subsection must be posted conspicuously in all admitting areas 03 of the hospital, published at least annually in a newspaper of general circulation in the 04 area, and must be in substantially the following form: 05 Notice of Limited Liability 06 The following health care providers are independent contractors 07 and are not employees of the hospital: 08 (List specific health care providers) 09 The hospital is responsible for exercising reasonable care in granting staff privileges 10 to practice in the hospital, for reviewing those privileges on a regular basis, and for 11 taking appropriate steps to revoke or restrict privileges in appropriate circumstances. 12 The hospital is not otherwise liable for the acts or omissions of a health care provider 13 who is an independent contractor. 14 (b) This section does not preclude liability for civil damages that are the 15 proximate result of the hospital's own negligence or intentional misconduct. 16 (c) In this section, 17 (1) "health care provider" means a doctor of medicine, a surgeon, 18 psychologist, osteopath, dentist, optometrist, or certified registered nurse anesthetist, 19 who is licensed in this state; 20 (2) "hospital" has the meaning given in AS 18.20.130 and includes a 21 governmentally owned or operated hospital; 22 (3) "independent contractor" means a licensed health care provider who 23 is a member of a hospital's medical staff or who has otherwise been granted specified 24 privileges to render health care services directly or indirectly to patients at the hospital, 25 but who is not an employee or actual agent of the hospital in connection with the 26 rendition of the health care services. 27 * Sec. 27. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 28 Sec. 09.65.125. SIGNING OF PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND OTHER 29 PAPERS; SANCTIONS. Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a party 30 represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the 31 attorney's individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not
01 represented by an attorney shall sign the party's pleading, motion, or other paper and 02 state the party's address. Except when otherwise specifically provided by the Alaska 03 Rules of Civil Procedure or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by 04 affidavit. The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by the signer 05 that the signer has read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of the 06 signer's knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well 07 grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument of the 08 extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and that it is not interposed for any 09 improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless 10 increase in the cost of litigation. If a pleading, motion, or other paper is not signed, 11 it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the 12 attention of the pleader or movant. If it is alleged or appears that a pleading, motion, 13 or other paper is signed in violation of this section, the court, upon motion or upon its 14 own initiative, may set the matter for hearing. If the court determines that a pleading, 15 motion, or other paper is signed in violation of this section, the court may impose upon 16 the person who signed it, a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction that may 17 include an order to pay to the other party the amount of the reasonable expenses 18 incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion, or other paper, including 19 reasonable attorney fees, and monetary sanctions that are not less than $500 nor more 20 than $10,000. 21 * Sec. 28. AS 09.17.040(c) and AS 09.55.548 are repealed. 22 * Sec. 29. AS 09.17.070(b), as repealed and reenacted by sec. 14 of this Act, has the effect 23 of amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 16.1 and 26 by requiring a claimant in a civil 24 action to disclose benefits described in AS 09.17.070(b). 25 * Sec. 30. AS 09.17.080(a), as amended in sec. 15 of this Act, has the effect of amending 26 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 49 by requiring the jury to answer the special interrogatory 27 listed in AS 09.17.080(a)(2), regarding the percentages of fault to be allocated among the 28 parties. 29 * Sec. 31. AS 09.30.065, as amended by sec. 18 of this Act, has the effect of amending 30 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 68 by providing that if a judgment is not more favorable to 31 the offeree than the offer, the offeree shall pay costs as allowed under the Alaska Rules of
01 Civil Procedure and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the offeror, and by deleting interest 02 adjustments. 03 * Sec. 32. AS 09.30.070(c), added by sec. 20 of this Act, has the effect of amending 04 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 68 by providing that prejudgment interest may not be awarded 05 for future economic or noneconomic damages. 06 * Sec. 33. AS 09.60.010, as repealed and reenacted by sec. 25 of this Act, has the effect 07 of amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82 by providing that attorney fees may not be 08 awarded in a civil action for personal injury, death, or property damage, unless authorized by 09 statute or by agreement of the parties. 10 * Sec. 34. CIVIL JUSTICE REPORT. (a) The division of insurance shall compile 11 information necessary to determine if the civil justice system and the insurance system in the 12 state are fairly serving the residents of the state. 13 (b) The information compiled under (a) of this section shall be reported back to the 14 legislature by June 1, 1998. 15 * Sec. 35. MEDICAL PRACTICE PARAMETER REPORT. (a) The State Medical Board 16 shall request that the Alaska State Medical Association appoint a committee representative of 17 medical specialties for the purpose of determining the efficacy of practice parameters in the 18 state. The committee required under this subsection shall, at a minimum, report to the State 19 Medical Board on the following: 20 (1) the perceived costs and time required to develop practice parameters; 21 (2) an evaluation of the experience with medical practice parameters in other 22 states; and 23 (3) the extent to which medical practice parameters appear to prevent medical 24 malpractice claims and to eliminate or reduce the practice of defensive medicine undertaken 25 to avoid civil litigation. 26 (b) By July 1, 1996, the committee appointed under (a) of this section shall complete 27 its evaluation and submit to the State Medical Board a detailed report concluding with a 28 recommendation for or against the development and adoption of medical practice parameters 29 in the state. 30 (c) Based on the report of the committee appointed under (a) of this section and 31 recommendations submitted under (b) of this subsection, the State Medical Board shall make
01 a formal recommendation to the governor and the legislature regarding the development and 02 adoption of medical practice parameters in the state by January 1, 1997. 03 * Sec. 36. SEVERABILITY. Under AS 01.10.030, if any provision of this Act, or the 04 application of a provision of this Act to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 05 remainder of this Act and the application to other persons shall not be affected. 06 * Sec. 37. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to all causes of action accruing on or after 07 the effective date of this Act. 08 * Sec. 38. This Act takes effect July 1, 1994.